power generation has reached a new level of importance these days. beyond where and how it will happen is the question what will it look like? In response to an ongoing public debate about Massachusetts's Cape Wind Associates' proposed development of America's first offshore wind farm, three young Boston designers organized Windscape, an ideas competition envisioning renewable energy for Cape Cod. This Boston Society of Architects-facilitated competition called for project submissions that rethink the environmental and visual issues and impacts of such a development.
The Cape Wind Associates proposed development employs 130 wind turbines in the Nantucket Sound, intended to supply 70 percent of Cape Cod and surrounding islands with clean and renewable power. The competition required that the Windscape submissions address the addition of the turbines to the physical and cultural landscape, and respond to the following overall challenge: Can a wind farm be more than just a utility to generate electricity? Submission requirements included designing an educational experience to connect public visitors to the wind park, as well as secondary uses, such as recreation, research provisions, tours, and installations. Concepts were judged by a national group of artists, architects, landscape architects, and environmental and renewable energy advocates.
Three winners were chosen from a pool of 65 international submissions. First place and $5,000 was awarded to Paul Michael Pelken and Markus Hermann of Energy Design Lab in Boston for their submission named 'e50_energy island'. The concept, according to the judges, was a deeply integrated, clever solution, addressing the larger issue of energy use, while reducing the number of turbines to 50 and creating an environment to attract local residents and tourists.
The second-place prize of $2,000 went to 'Dan Der Turbines' by Rafal Wamka of Germany, Ton Matton of Germany and the Netherlands, and Albert Jansen of the Netherlands. Their central idea was to place the turbines across the water and onto the land, integrating them into the existing landscape, rather than obscuring them. A Special Citation went to 'Martucket Eyeland Resort and Theme Park' by Jay Critchley of Provincetown, Massachusetts, and John Paul Raymond of Leicester, Massachusetts, for their satirical interpretation.
The judges selected five additional submissions to be part of a traveling exhibition. It can be seen at the Massachusetts State House Doric Hall in Boston from June 12 to 30, 2006. For more information, visit www.architects.org/shaping_communities. A|L